The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II has achieved its first close at €130 million, following a joint investment of €17.5 million from The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund through the African Development Bank.
AREF II, a successor to the original Fund, is a 10-year closed-ended renewable energy Private Equity Fund with a $300 million target capitalization. The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II, managed by Berkeley Energy, invests in early-stage renewable energy projects, thereby not only de-risking the most uncertain phase of power projects, but also promoting increased green baseload in Africa’s generation mix.
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund will each contribute roughly €8.7 million to mobilize private-sector investment into Africa’s renewable energy sector. The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa will also contribute financing to the AREF II Project Support Facility, which funds technical assistance and early-stage project support to improve bankability.
The other investors are the U.K’s CDC Group, Italy’s CDP, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), SwedFund and Proparco.
“We are proud to be associated with Berkeley Energy and other like-minded investors, and look forward to AREF’s continued success and leadership in promoting sustainable power development on the continent,” said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.
In 2012, the African Development Bank selected Berkeley Energy, a seasoned fund manager of clean energy projects in global emerging markets to set up AREF. AREF II has a sharper strategic focus than its predecessor on “green baseload” projects that will deliver firm and dispatchable power to African power systems through hydro, solar, wind and battery storage technologies.
Luka Buljan, Berkeley Energy’s Managing Director, said: “We are very excited to have reached this milestone with strong support from our backers. The catalytic tranche from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund will assist in mobilising private institutional investors up to full fund size of €300 million. We now look forward to concluding the fundraising and delivering projects that will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy across African markets.”
“AREF is intertwined with the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa’s history and success, and we have worked closely over the last decade to create precedents in difficult markets and challenging technologies. We look forward to continued collaboration to accelerate the energy transition in Africa,” said Joao Duarte Cunha, Manager for Renewable Energy Initiatives at the African Development Bank and Coordinator of the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.
Meyer Cost of Sales Dwarf Profit in the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2021
Meyer Plc, one of Nigeria’s manufacturers and marketers of high-quality Paints, continue to struggle in the first nine months ended September 30, 2021.
In the company’s unaudited financial statements filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and seen by Investors King on Friday, Meyer grew revenue by 34 percent from N566.511 million recorded in the first nine months of 2020 to N759.157 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2021.
However, the company spent 66.48 percent of its revenue on sales. Cost of Sales stood at N504,702 in the period under review.
Therefore, gross profit inched slightly higher by 23.46 percent to N254.455 million, up from N206.097 million achieved in the first nine months of 2020.
Loss from operating activities moderated to -N51.694 million in the period under review from -N133.510 million posted in the corresponding period.
Profit before tax rose to N13.534 million in the first nine months of 2021, up from -N98.404 million filed in 2020 during the peak of the global pandemic. The company paid N4.060 million in taxes in the period under review.
Similarly, profit after tax improved from -N100.528 million recorded in the same period of 2020 to N9.474 million in 2021.
United Capital Reports 72 Percent Increase in Profit After Tax in 9 Months
United Capital has officially rebounded from COVID-19 negative impact following a strong financial statement report released on Friday, October 15, 2021.
The company grew revenue by 60 percent year on year from N7.07 billion recorded in the first nine months of 2020 to N11.33 billion in the nine months ended September 30, 2021.
Operating income also jumped by 64 percent to N11.08 billion in the period under review, up from N6.76 billion achieved in the corresponding period.
As expected, operating expenses grew with an increase in revenue to N4.24 billion in the nine months under review from N2.95 billion filed in the first nine months of 2020.
Profit before tax stood at N7.09 billion in the first nine months of 2021, representing an increase of 72 percent when compared to N4.12 billion posted in the same period of 2020.
Profit after tax responded positively as it jumped by the same 72 percent year-on-year to N5.97 billion from N3.46 billion recorded in 2020.
Earnings per share also grew by 72 percent year-on-year from 77 kobo in 2020 to 133 kobo in the period under review.
See other United Capital key Financial Highlights
- Total Assets: N400.75 billion, compared to N222.75 billion as at FY 2020 (80% year-to-date growth)
- Total Liabilities: N373.86 billion, compared to N198.32billion as at FY 2020 (89% year-to-date growth)
- Shareholders’ Fund: N26.89 billion, compared to N24.43 billion as at FY 2020 (10% year-to date growth)
Comparing 9M 2021 with 9M 2020, the following are worthy of note:
− Total Revenue: During the period under review, United Capital’s total revenue increased by 60% year-on-year driven largely by growth in fee and commission income (+112% year-on-year) and Investment Income (+43% year-on-year).
− Cost-to-Income ratio: The company continue to maintain improvement in operational efficiency as cost-to-income ratio for the period declined by 10.25 percentage points largely attributable to the impressive growth in revenue (+64% year-on-year) relative to operating expenses (+44%year-on-year).
− PBT Margin: United Capital recorded an improvement in Profitability margin during the period under review as PBT margin increased by 7.32 percentage points to 62.60% in 9M 2021 compared to 58.33% in 9M 2020 as PBT grew by 72% year-on-year during the period under review.
− PAT Margin: PAT margin also increased, gaining 7.47 percentage points to 52.65% in 9M 2021 compared to 49.00% in 9M 2020 as PAT increased by 72% year-on-year during the period.
− Total Assets: United Capital’s total assets during the period under review grew by 80% year to date on the account of 98% increase in cash and cash equivalents and 90% growth in financial asset investment
Commenting on the company’s performance the Group CEO, Mr. Peter Ashade, said “I am pleased to inform our stakeholders that United Capital ended the third quarter of the year with another outstanding performance. We delivered an increased revenue of 60% year-onyear, PBT growth of 72% year-on-year to N7.09b and total asset growth of 80% year-to-date.
“During the period under review, United Capital successfully listed three series commercial papers worth N19.72 billion on the FMDQ Securities Exchange. The CPs were issued under the company’s N50 billion commercial paper issuance program. This has further positioned us as a company to provide a wider range of wholesale financing solutions to our clients and complement funding base and support for all our businesses.
“Another remarkable point to note was the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s reclassification of United Capital shares from Low Price Stock Group to Medium Price Stock Group in August 2021 driven by steady growth in the company’s share price over the past months due to our consistent impressive performance over the years.
“I want to assure our stakeholders that we are optimistic on sustaining this exciting performance in the last quarter of the year and beyond. We remain focused on our transformation agenda and to continue to provide best-in-class solutions to all client segments. We are also committed to deliver superior returns as we seek to always delight our shareholders.”
B2B Domestic Payment Transaction Values to Exceed $54 Trillion by 2023; Returning to Pre-COVID Levels
A new study from Juniper Research has found that the transaction value of B2B domestic payments across payment methods will exceed $54 trillion in 2023, up from $49 trillion in 2021. The research predicts a growth of 10%; reflecting a slow recovery in business activity following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research identified that while many businesses are now operating at pre-pandemic levels, the longer-term economic consequences of the pandemic are still restricting value growth. As such, leveraging payments automation to reduce manual work and boosting small business cashflow will be critical to recovery.
For more insights, download the free whitepaper: Breaking the Innovation Stalemate in B2B Payments
Domestic Payment Methods Shifting as Digital Takes Hold
The new research, B2B Payments: Key Opportunities, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, found that the need to automate B2B payments at scale is leading to a fundamental shift in the way payments are made. The research forecasts that the volume of B2B domestic cheque payments will fall by 30% globally between 2021 and 2023, with cash payments falling by 11% over the same period. The need to automate payments means a shift towards more easily automated payment types, such as card and instant payments.
Research author Nick Maynard explained: “The pandemic has accelerated the transition away from traditional payment types, with growth focused on instant payments and card payments. This transition will be important for automation, but will take some time, given the established nature of these processes.”
Instant Payments – Fastest-growing B2B Domestic Payment Method
The research found that by 2023, global instant payment transaction volumes in the B2B domestic channel will grow by 56%; the fastest of any single payment method. The research identified the launch of instant payment schemes that can carry additional remittance data as having significant potential for simplifying the complex B2B payments ecosystem. However, the report acknowledged the uneven state of instant payments scheme roll-outs as a critical limiting factor, with Europe moving much faster than North America.
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